Met announces changes to local policing

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The Metropolitan Police Service has announced changes to the way local policing is delivered in London through the introduction of Basic Command Units (BCUs).

A BCU is a larger police command unit that will replace the Met’s current 32 borough model, by merging local policing in boroughs to form 12 BCUs.

In the current model, boroughs vary in size, have different ways of doing things and have different resources and issues. This can mean that demand is difficult to manage and our flexibility to meet new policing challenges is limited.

BCUs will each deliver the same core local policing functions – neighbourhoods, emergency response, CID and safeguarding – in a more consistent way. Each BCU will be led by a chief superintendent who will be the BCU Commander.

On a BCU, people, buildings and resources will be shared across the borough boundaries meaning greater flexibility in how these are used. The change will allow us to improve the service we provide to London in several ways as well as investing resources to address key priorities.

It remains the case that the Met continues to face a significant financial challenge, alongside increasing demand, and must make savings of £325m by 2021/22. Our police officer numbers are expected to fall to 30,000 by April, and further by 2021.

We need to plan for a future with less, and become more resilient so we can continue to meet our financial and operational challenges, and our current and future policing challenges – terrorism and safeguarding in particular. Without significant changes in how we manage our resources we would be unable to meet these head on.


As well as saving money and increasing efficiency, we want to invest in other areas of policing which the new model will enable us to do more effectively.

Increasing community confidence is a priority and these changes will build on the success of Safer Neighbourhoods, where local officers are visible in each London ward.

We have met our commitment to put two Dedicated Ward Officers (DWOs) and one PCSO in every London ward. These officers work with local people on local priorities and are not taken away to help with policing elsewhere in London.

In BCUs there will also be more police officers working with young people, educational establishments and care homes. We will bring the management of issues such as anti-social behaviour and licensing into one team so we are working more closely with local authorities and our other partners.


We are changing the way we help safeguard vulnerable people by investing more resources in preventing and investigating domestic abuse, sexual offences and child abuse.

We will introduce ‘multi-agency hubs’ where police officers and child safeguarding professionals from other organisations will sit side-by-side. This means all safeguarding referrals about children will be made through the same team, improving our joint working and information sharing to protect London’s most vulnerable children.

Through BCU safeguarding teams we are increasing our work to prevent harm coming to those with mental health issues or those who go missing, alongside the management of offenders, especially those who pose the highest risk.

BCUs will also bring together the investigation of these crimes and deploy specialist officers and detectives directly to the scene of serious incidents at an earlier stage. This means they can set the investigation strategy early on and make contact with the victim, reducing the number of different officers they have to deal with.


With calls to 999 and 101 on the rise, the new BCU structure will see more officers responding to emergency calls across borough boundaries to fit with local needs and help those people who need us the most.

Response officers will also be trained to investigate some of the crimes they attend rather than passing them onto other officers. This will provide a better service to victims and allow CID colleagues to concentrate on more serious crimes and proactive work.

We will continue to deal with a greater proportion of crime online or over the telephone, to give the public greater choice about how they contact us and reduce demand on response officers.


The BCU model has been tested in two areas since January 2017, bringing together Barking & Dagenham, Redbridge and Havering boroughs; and Camden and Islington boroughs.

These two pathfinders allowed us to see in action the benefits of the BCU model as well as identifying and dealing with any problems. We have closely worked with officers, staff and partner agencies, including leaders of local councils, to identify the key lessons learnt. All these views have helped shape our decision to move forward with the BCU plan.

Leading the work is Deputy Assistant Commissioner Mark Simmons. He said: “Local policing is at the heart of what the Met does every day, and we will improve it further by offering a service that is more personal and responsive to the needs of Londoners.

“BCUs will allow us to put first victims of crime and those people who need us the most. Our new structure will also give us the resilience and consistency we need across the whole of London, so we can continue to respond to large scale incidents and meet the financial and operational challenges we are facing.”

The roll-out across London will be staggered over the next 12 months following the decision.

The first of the boroughs to come together will be Ealing, Hillingdon and Hounslow; and Kingston, Merton, Richmond and Wandsworth.

The 12 Basic Command Units (BCUs) are:
Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster,
Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Wandsworth
Bromley, Croydon, Sutton
Bexley, Greenwich, Lewisham
Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge
Ealing, Hillingdon, Hounslow
Lambeth, Southwark
Enfield, Haringey
Hackney, Tower Hamlets
Camden, Islington
Barnet, Brent, Harrow
Newham, Waltham Forest

Your Croydon

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Appeal for witnesses to Croydon robberies

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Detectives are appealing for witnesses and information following a series of robberies where the victims have been threatened with a firearm.

Officers from Croydon CID are investigating five night-time robberies which occurred in different parts of the borough between Friday, 2 and Monday, 5 February.

The victims were all sitting in their vehicles at the time of the attacks. On three of these occasions, private hire vehicles have been targeted.

In each robbery, the victim has either had a firearm pulled on them, or the suspects have made threats that they have a firearm without one being seen.

None of the victims were injured.

Detective Inspector David Willis, of Croydon CID, said: “We are appealing for anyone with information to contact us. If you were in the area at the times of the robberies and saw, or heard, anything out of the ordinary, please come forward. If you have private CCTV in any of these roads we would like to hear from you because even if you haven’t captured the crime, you may have recorded the suspects approaching or leaving.

“Although there have been no injuries at this point, the impact of being a victim of a violent crime runs far deeper than injuries alone. The nature of these incidents and the potential that the firearm could be real makes it vital that we identify the people responsible as soon as possible.

“It is important that we remain vigilant to any potential danger that may undermine our safety, and report anything that looks suspicious.”

The five robberies took place across Croydon on the following dates:

– At 23:40hrs on Friday, 2 February on London Road in Norbury;
– At 21:25hrs on Saturday, 3 February on Falkland Park Avenue in South Norwood;
– At 22:35hrs on Saturday, 3 February on Duppas Avenue in Croydon;
– At 00:55hrs on Monday, 5 February on Berne Road in Thornton Heath; and,
– At 01:35hrs on Monday, 5 February on King’s Road in South Norwood.

Anyone with information should call officers at Croydon via 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting reference ‘Operation AMAY’.

There have been no arrests and enquiries continue.

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Croydon man jailed for rape

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A man has been jailed for 17 years for rape.

Darrel Rose, 31, (6.7.86) of King Henry’s Drive, New Addington was found guilty on 31 July 2017 at Croydon Crown Court of two counts of rape, one count of assault by penetration and two counts of assault causing actual bodily harm.

He was sentenced on Friday, 2 February, to a total of 17 years’ imprisonment.

The victim was a woman who had been known to Rose for more than ten years.

On 25 March 2017, police were called to a newsagent in Hackbridge by a female victim who stated that she had been raped at a house nearby. The victim had only been able to make her escape, wearing her dressing gown and slippers, after Rose had fallen asleep.

DC Ellen Jones of the Met’s Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command said:

“The victim in this case has shown great bravery and courage in standing up to Rose and ensuring that he is made to answer for his actions.

“I would like to praise the strength and commitment she has shown throughout this case.”

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